India’s richest person Gautam Adani on Monday (May 9) officially made his entry into Twenty20 franchise cricket. His group has acquired the rights to own and operate a team in an IPL-style tournament, that will be launched soon.
“Adani Sportsline, a part of the diversified Adani Group, has made a landmark foray into franchise cricket by acquiring the rights to own and operate a franchise in UAE’s flagship T20 league,” the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday.
Adani Sportsline is promoted by the Adani Group whose diverse businesses include port management, electric power generation and transmission, renewable energy, mining, airport operations, natural gas, food processing and infrastructure.
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani is currently the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $119 billion. Last year, Adani Group had made an unsuccessful bid to own an IPL team.
Licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board, the UAE T20 League is an annual event that will feature six franchise teams competing in a 34-match event. It is likely to be launched early next year.
Reliance Industries Limited, the owners of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI), Lancer Capital, the GMR Group and Capri Global have already acquired a team each in UAE’s T20 League, according to ECB.
“Top players from all the cricket-playing countries are expected to be in the line-up of different teams. The league will be providing a platform and exposure to upcoming young cricketers. This will be the first major move overseas by the Adani Sportsline that will connect and engage with global fans from across the cricketing nations,” the ECB said.
Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE’s T20 League Chairman said: “It is a proud moment for us to announce the Adani Group’s association with the UAE’s T20 League as a Franchise team owner. This acquisition fits perfectly in the group of corporates who have already acquired franchise team rights in the League. The trust shown by the Adani Group augurs well for the League and we look forward to benefitting from their business acumen and working together to make our League successful.”
“We are excited to be part of the UAE T20 league,” said Pranav Adani, Managing Director – Agro and Oil & Gas, Adani Group.
“The UAE is an amazing amalgamation of several cricket-loving nations. It provides an excellent platform for enhancing the visibility of cricket as the sport goes increasingly global. Our presence here is also a great base for the Adani brand that is contributing significantly to the sports ecosystem in India through leagues such as boxing and kabaddi, and nurturing sporting talent at the grassroots level through the Garv Hai initiative,” he added.
Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, ECB, said, “We are extremely pleased to have one of Asia’s leading corporates as our franchise team owner. This is a resounding thumbs up to the unique opportunity that the UAE T20 league offers to experienced and established business owners. We are confident that this association will be mutually beneficial for both the Adani Group and the League. UAE’s T20 League will attract some of the biggest names in world cricket while also giving a platform and international exposure to local and upcoming players.”